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Senators Again Urge Obama to Answer Key Questions about Benghazi Attack

11:51 AM, Oct 31, 2012 • By ROBERT ZARATE
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Four senators sent a letter to the White House today, urging President Obama and his advisers to answer the growing list of questions about the 9/11 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which lawmakers have posed in writing to his administration over the last month.  Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), the authors of the letter, explain to the president: 

The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, that resulted in the murder of four Americans—including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Unfortunately, you and your senior administration officials have not been forthcoming in providing answers to the many questions that have emerged.

On October 9, 2012, we sent a letter to the senior intelligence officials in your administration in an effort to obtain answers to these questions. More than three weeks have passed, and we still have not received a response. To make matters worse, since that original letter, we sent several subsequent letters to you or to your senior administration officials asking a number of questions, and we have failed to receive a single letter in response.

The American people and their representatives in Congress need to understand what you knew about the Benghazi terrorist attack and when you knew it. We also have a right to know what steps you and your administration took—or failed to take—before, during, and after the terrorist attack to protect American lives…. 

Your failure to answer these important questions will only add to the growing perception among many of our constituents that your administration has undertaken a concerted effort to misrepresent the facts and stonewall Congress and the American people. We look forward to a prompt and thorough response to these questions. The American people deserve a full accounting of what happened in Benghazi where four brave Americans were murdered.

Here's entire text of the letter:

McCAIN-GRAHAM-AYOTTE-JOHNSON LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA:

October 31, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The American people deserve to know all the facts surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, that resulted in the murder of four Americans—including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Unfortunately, you and your senior administration officials have not been forthcoming in providing answers to the many questions that have emerged.

On October 9, 2012, we sent a letter to the senior intelligence officials in your administration in an effort to obtain answers to these questions. More than three weeks have passed, and we still have not received a response. To make matters worse, since that original letter, we sent several subsequent letters to you or to your senior administration officials asking a number of questions, and we have failed to receive a single letter in response.

The American people and their representatives in Congress need to understand what you knew about the Benghazi terrorist attack and when you knew it. We also have a right to know what steps you and your administration took—or failed to take—before, during, and after the terrorist attack to protect American lives.

In order to facilitate an immediate response to our important questions on behalf of the American people, below are the questions from the letters we have sent over the last three weeks.

In our October 9, 2012, letter that we wrote with Senator Saxby Chambliss, we asked the following questions of Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, Jr.; Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, David H. Petraeus; and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor, John Brennan:

• Within 48 hours of the attack, was there credible information and reporting to suggest that the assault on our Consulate and other U.S. facilities in Benghazi should be characterized as a terrorist attack?

• At what time did intelligence community agencies or elements first assess that the events in Benghazi were a terrorist attack?

• What information did the intelligence community provide to senior policymakers that led some of them to draw the conclusion as late as five days after the attack in Benghazi that it was the result of a spontaneous demonstration, not a terrorist act?

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